Expand Ad
  • Great dynamics - terrific handling and well sorted ride; feels plenty quick; engine note and flexibility; practical cabin; superb seats; loaded with features yet cheaper than all its key rivals
  • Noticeable torque steer; bus-like turning circle; tyre rumble on country roads; we're now dreaming about the new Focus RS

OUR RATING
9 / 10



Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review

The Ford Focus ST is your typical blue oval performance car in Europe, contrasting with the big powerful Falcon sedans such as the XR6 Turbo and FPV GT.

But Ford’s latest-generation ST – for Sports Technologies – is now being pitched as the company’s first true global performance model – one it says will have the same dynamic qualities and appeal whether drivers are in Los Angeles, London, Rome, Sydney or Melbourne.

As sales of large cars continue to plummet and small cars continue to dominate local sales, Ford hot-hatches like the Ford Focus ST (and Fiesta ST due next year) could take on more prominence here.

This Focus and one Falcon variant do have at least one thing in common. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct fuel injection turbo under the bonnet of the Ford Focus ST is closely related to the one used in the Ford Falcon EcoBoost. (The turbocharger, pistons, engine calibration, compression ratio and intake and exhaust designs are different.)

For the third ST, which was previously known here in first-generation guise as the ST170 and then as the XR5 Turbo, that means a reduction in capacity of half a litre, from 2.5 litres, and a drop of one cylinder.

Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review

As is almost the case every time these days with such downsized engines, there are mostly upsides.

Power heads closer towards the 200kW mark at 184kW, torque beefs up to 340Nm, and importantly fuel efficiency and emissions are lowered by about 20 per cent to 7.4L/100km and 172g/km respectively.

The XR5 Turbo was a relative bargain at $35,990, yet while the Focus ST price jumps six per cent to $38,290 this still undercuts rivals such as the $40,490 Volkswagen Golf GTI, $42,640 (three-door only) Renault Megane RS265 and the $39,990 Subaru WRX.

Equipment hasn’t been tossed overboard to get there, either. The Ford Focus ST includes satellite navigation, hands-free voice command control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, keyless entry and engine start, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, nine-speaker Sony audio and rear view camera. And unlike the XR5 and RS, this time there’s cruise control.

Then there are the not-found-in-any-other-Focus-models touches – inside and out – such as the twin central exhaust pipes, unique-design 18-inch alloy wheels, Recaro seats front and rear, sports steering wheel and array of ST-badged items, including aforementioned wheel, front door scuff plates, floormats and gearlever.

The bodywork bulks up, too, the suspension sits 10mm lower, and a cleaner-looking – and arguably less aggressive-looking – front end is headlined by a single-piece, black honeycomb grille.

Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review

Our test car came in the ST’s exclusive orange paintjob Ford calls Tangerine Scream and what we call a fitting colour for this hotter Focus.

For anyone who’s driven the XR5 Turbo, or the Focus RS, the immediate concern may well be the departure of their brilliant 2.5-litre five-cylinder Volvo engine.

Well, fear not. Yes, the four-cylinder doesn’t have the enjoyably warbly character of the five-pot but it does bring its own fine soundtrack – again piped from the engine bay, through the firewall, and into the rear of the dashboard through the so-called Sound Symposer.

It’s a meaty, sporty note that sounds completely natural and gets better as revs rise.

With 340Nm of torque sitting on a plateau between 2000 and 4500rpm, the driver also has the choice of palming the leather gearknob into a higher gear earlier and enjoying the tremendous mid-range kick and easy flexibility that was a highlight of the old five-cylinder.

Sixth gear will cope with just 1000rpm on the tacho, pulling (if only gradually) from 40km/h.

Acceleration is suitably exhilarating both from a standing start and in-gear, though torque steer isn’t eradicated despite the presence of Ford’s electric power steering that features a Torque Steer Compensator.

Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review

The ST features neither a mechanical limited-slip differential of the rival RS Megane nor the clever Revoknuckle front suspension of the Focus RS that somehow minimised torque steer in a car that put 224kW through the front wheels.

Torque steer in the Focus ST is most evident in aggressive straight-line acceleration (which results in 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds, according to Ford of Europe), and even then it’s more of a noticeable tugging effect rather than an event that will throw you off the road.

Ford says it deliberately left some torque steer in because it reckons it adds drama and provides important information to the driver. We don’t think enthusiasts will have an issue with it; those buyers simply after a sporty-looking Focus without necessarily wanting to explore its limits may find it less endearing.

It’s less pronounced in corners, though, with just enough to tell you you’re trying to put plenty of power to the ground through the wheels also steering the car but it never upsets your line or the balance of the car.

And balance the Focus ST has. Ford’s hottest small car currently available in showrooms doesn’t fail to build on the fundamentally fine chassis of the regular Focus.

Body control is superb, and tauter than a Golf GTI’s, with the ST resisting lean through corners and savouring quick direction changes.

The 18-inch rubber – unlike the same-size tyres on higher-spec Focuses such as the Titaniums – provides a nice balance between power and grip, with the front end sliding through corners and responsive to throttle pedal movements.

Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review
Ford Focus ST Review

There’s a three-stage electronic stability control system that includes a ‘fully off’ mode, but even when fully engaged the ESP threshold is generously high.

Steering that is precise, hefty and quick, plus brakes that are progressive and full of bite, seal the deal.

And while the steering is a touch springy around the straight-ahead, and not immediately responsive, that also works in its favour on straighter roads such as freeways where it contributes to the ST’s constant feeling of stability.

The suspension is also expertly judged for general ride quality. It’s firm, of course, but the damping is quick without being aggressive and the Ford Focus ST brushes off potholes let alone brings harshness.

The brilliant Recaro bucket seats also deliver a sense of security, with thick bolstering providing a stronghold on the driver and front passenger without squeezing comfort (confirmed by three hours we spent driving up a freeway).

The yellow/black leather and cloth upholstery of our test car looked properly sporty, too, adding important hot-hatch flair to the cabin that could otherwise be close to being accused of being too close to the interior of a regular Focus.

The front Recaros are quite chunky, though they’re aggressively scalloped at the rear to make sure there’s some semblance of knee room in the back, where passengers also sit on comfortable Recaro-made cushions (in bench form) made from special foam.

Ford Focus ST Review

Throw in the presence of rear doors, split-fold rear seats and a well sized boot and the Ford Focus ST also meets that other important criterion of hot-hatches: practicality.

There are the odd blemishes in addition to the torque steer, such as the poor turning circle, tyre noise that can get vocal on coarse surfaces, and headlights that aren’t true ‘auto’ headlights as they won’t switch off automatically if you have main beam selected (yes, we’re being picky).

Other than that, the new Ford Focus ST makes the perfect bridge between the old XR5 Turbo and the now-discontinued wild child Focus RS. The rich lineage of small fast Fords continues.

Ford Focus ST

Price: $38,290 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power: 184kW at 5500rpm
Torque: 340Nm at 2000-4500rpm (360Nm with Overboost)
0-100km/h: 6.5 seconds (claimed)
Fuel economy: 7.4L/100km (9.6L/100km on test)
CO2 emissions: 172g/km

Click on the Photos tab up top for the full Ford Focus ST gallery, including other body colours.


  Submit an Owner Car Review

FORD FOCUS BREAKDOWN

Ford Focus ST Review
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 10
  Submit an Owner Car Review


  • A_A

    Crying shame some of the features of the Titanium aren’t here as options, automatic parking is to be expected, but considering the Mondeo XR5 had Adaptive Cruise Control and a Sunroof, I don’t see what’s stopping them from coming here.

    • JamesB

      Automatic parking is for idiots.

      • Noel

        Well James I use mine constantly and it works very well.  Of course features like this on any car can be said to be for idiots, cruise control, ESP you know stuff like that.  Clearly these types of advances are not useful for someone like you, perfection must be such a chore!!

        • $29896495

          I guess its not a question of whether it works or not, just that a vast number of drivers don’t have enough abillitty to even park a car. It brings into question their other abillities ion regards to driving.

          ESP etc aren’t comparable to auto park.

        • John

          It’s not that hard to park a car.

        • JamesB

          Cruise control, like cup holders, is a convenience feature. ESP, ABS, etc. do what’s beyond human control. We don’t have four feet, do we? Parking, on the other hand, is something everyone should know how to do and not be consigned to a computer.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000127982469 Michael Gooch

           you’re constantly an idiot then aren’t you!

    • Zaccy16

      who cares? those are unnecessary features anyway! the car would be fantastic even if it didn’t have AC 

    • Mark

      i didn’t think that these option where available on a manual car  

  • Guest

    Seems like a winner

  • Daniel

    I think the previous model had an overall cleaner design, but this seems like a great car. My only problem is that I think as a “world car” it really should be offered with a decent automatic. Some people don’t know how to, physically can’t or just plain don’t want to drive a manual but that doesn’t mean they don’t still want the power and handling a hot hatch provides. I think the ST will lost a lot of sales to the Golf by not offering an automatic.

    • filippo

      In Australia maybe. In Europe the Polo GTi is suffering in the sales race because it is only offered as an automatic.

      • Pauy

        We are not in Europe. Thus the reason why there is massive waits on the Polo GTI here.

        No Automatic/Dual Clutch option = No sale from me.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=737660467 Kit Ho

          no one cares what we think, we’re such a small market anyway

          • Truism.

            Precisely, Australians are over their heads if they think an auto-less model is suicide. The biggest market by a huge margin for this car is manual dominated. 

            Its called economics.

        • Damian

          An automatic in a hot hatch is a travesty and indicates how lazy motorists have become.  If you want an automatic hatch, go to your nearest Toyota dealership and buy a Corolla.  Leave the hot hatches to purists who can drive and appreciate the qualities and virtues of driving pleasure.

          • Mike

             Nonensse. A hot hatch has no purity whatsoever in terms of the driver. This tired old argument of must be manual to be good is erroneous and in fact proven wrong by race drivers.

          • Dave W

            People need to learn to differentiate between fast and fun. Computer maybe faster at matching the rev when shifting down but it sure as hell ain’t gonna be as fun or pure as when you blip the throttle yourself.

          • $29896495

            I think you’re wrong Mike in regards to purity. things have changed in the last forty years. You can enjoy a drive in lots of different types of cars, your driving style is different say from RWD, to FWD to AWD, but all no matter what they may be can provide (if well sorted) a “pure” experience. It’s just different to rear wheel drive only. 

          • sleepsy

            Well done Mike. Hot hatches are about fun and
            practicality. Just be thankful that a manual option is still available for
            people who can’t afford the price or inconvenience of proper 2 seater sports car
            to get as close to “purity” as possible.

          • Golfmother

            Well said damian

      • Zaccy16

        yeah only in aus, good on you ford for offering a proper manual!

        • Terryb

          Agreed. Totally. If you want an auto with this car then you shouldn’t be buying it. Period.

          • Zaccy16

            exactly! if you want a auto buy a titanium!

  • Dave W

    I remember this car looking better than it does now…

    “Ford says it deliberately left some torque steer in because it reckons
    it adds drama and provides important information to the driver.”

    LOL What?!? Yeah, it informs the driver that he’s about to scrape the car next to him. That is the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard.

    Huge turning circle can be a pain as well.

    Oh well, the Fiesta looks better than this. I’ll wait for the Fiesta next year.

    • Dave W

      I just noticed how cramped the rear seating space is for a 5-door hatch. There’s barely any leg room!! Even economy seats in an airplane give you more leg room.

      If this was meant to be a sporty car with less attention to the rear leg room, why not make it a 3-door instead?

      • Zaccy16

        it has enough room for a small hatch, if you want more room, buy a bigger car!

        • Dave W

          I hope you don’t work for Ford because then I know why they aren’t selling.

      • $29896495

        Right on Dave – just my point! If you have to cjop peoples legs off to get in the back seat why even give them doors? Keep it sporty!

    • Norm

      Rear legroom isn’t exactly a strength in this class unless your prepared to go up. Yeti etc has genuine rear leg and headroom. But sporty? Not so much.

      Why is it that Ford – be it Falcon or Focus/Laser aren’t embraced by Aussies as they were years ago? It’s good product but the love is gone – save for the Territory. 

      The Territory. Designed and purpose built by Australian designers and engineers for the local market in response to what the late Geoff Polities saw as an emerging local market.

      Some more of that thinking might go a long way?

      • http://5reasonreviews.com/ Stephen Alfris

        I think there are lots of reasons Australian’ s are falling out of love with Holden and Ford (many of them unfair). Here are a few:

        - Australian’s are falling more and more in love with European brands (why I think that GM has brought in the Opel brand)
        - Holden and Ford are still very much associated with bad fuel efficiency (of course this is not right)
        - Japanese and esp. Korean brands have now significantly increased their quality 

        But it is not all bad. Holden Cruze up to May 2012 was the 3rd highest selling car in Aus, the Ford Focus was 10th (Territory was 18th).

        And finally I agree completely on the point re Australian engineered cars. I think much like the English, there is no reason we cannot continue to harbour a car industry that is class leading under the right conditions

        • Zaccy16

          Ford Australia should had made the decision to manufacture the focus here! they could be making this!

          • mosmanite

            FOA made the right call by choosing not to manufacture the Focus in Australia. It would have significantly reduced their margin on each vehicle for negligible returns at the showroom floor.

            I would go as far as to suggest that for every Focus sold here Ford makes twice what Holden makes on a Cruze. Effectively meaning they can sell 1/2 as many cars and make just as much money.

          • trololololol

            They nearly did….but we lost out to thailand cos of their free trade deals with alot of other asian countries.

        • Daniel D

          You forgot to mention that Ford have one of the worst dealer networks in the country. Add poor back up from Ford and well… not hard to see the lack of love.

    • Homer

      The huge turning circle is something you don’t discover on a test drive. However, believe me, it is a total pain in the A when you have to live with it.

      • Noel

        Agreed, I have a Focus Titanium and the turning cirlce truly is a nightmare at times.

        • Homer

          Mine was a VTiR Civic back in late 90′s. For such a small car it was like driving a stretch limo when it came to parking and U turns. 

      • Dave W

        Oh definitely. That’s why I always reverse back into a parking spot.

  • Shak

    Well the looks might grow on me (unlikely), but otherwise the ST looks like it could really shake up the other established competitors. It will be interesting to see what the local reviews think of the ST in comparison to the Astra OPC when it launches.

    • mosmanite

      You mean compared to the GTC?

      OPC is the uprated version and would sit closer to the RS on price (they are guessing @ $50k).

      If however you are comparing OPC with ST, then (OPC first):
      - 206 kw vs 184kw
      - 0-100 in 6.0 vs 6.5
      - fuel of 8.1 vs 7.4
      - 2 door vs 4 door
      - $50k vs $38k (plus on roads)

      If the 1/2 second matters then take the OPC, but make sure you bring your wallet and the extra 2 doors.

      • $29896495

        well the current GTC 1.6 turbo is $38795 drive awa across Australia according to the Opel website. (See the trouble a magzine courses by not having the drive away). So for the St, I’d guess at least another 2 to 3 k to put it on the road, stock. (bugger the two doors, they just get in the way)  So estemating based on that price for the GTC, OPC may be mid to high 40s drive away. not bad if it works out like that. I think a full bore OPC might have it over the ST, even if a little more expensive. You get looks a better interrior, TWO DOORS, arguably better seats. All the suspension tricks you could ask for, to make a FWD good day to day.

        • Barry on the tray top .

          Resale value would also be a factor to consider , the focus 58% , golf 66% , the opel any ones guess , previous astras were woefull , that may be because of the holden association .

          • Monk

            Maybe also because there were so many available – supply and demand at work.
            The fit and finish on the TS Astra was way ahead of the competition at the time.  Soft touch dash, etc.  I would be interested in seeing the interior of this one up close. 

          • Barry on the tray top .

            What, interior way ahead , you should get out more , old astra’s were junk inside , focus might be star wars but its good quality , the ST will sell very well , this is the growth market as loons downsize from their fat dino’s .

          • Monk

            The TS, not the AH. That was rubbish. As for sales being an indicator of quality – may I quote to you a few names – Britney Spears, One Direction, Justin Beiber.  All sell well.  Quality is not something I would accuse them of.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Monk ,exactly inteligent people would not buy a crappy interior just like they would always buy good music .

            We will leave the crappy opel  interiors to the plebs .

          • Luke

            The ‘plebs’, you say? So that makes you…?

          • $29896495

            I’d pretty much agree with you, I had a TS SRI, the only real issues were the Holden service and the plastic on the door pulls marked easily. Paint was great, panel fit was perfect, handled  and went well. Only real problems I ever had were when it came back from a service. Usually took 3 goes, 2) to do the service, then 2) to fix the problems the service created, then 3) to fix the next set of problems from the problem fix. That part was very disappointing.

        • mosmanite

          It’s hard to do a direct comparison, but I think comparing GTC to ST is more accurate. CA’s last article had the OPC aiming to get in below $50k + ORC so doesn’t really sit (it’s well above others in the segment like GTI).

          Hence after stating the above – of course the OPC will have it over the ST for performance. But for the extra $10k in the pocket, and given real world conditions, who other than boy racers and fan boys cares?.

          As for 2 doors vs 4? As a family 2 doors just doesn’t work so you are killing a big part of your market straight away. Your preference might be 2 doors, but I can assure you that there are a lot of people out there that won’t look at the vehicle unless it has 4.

          Both vehicles have their merits, and will sell to different people.

          • mosmanite

            Am I wrong, or is there no difference between the Astra GTC and the Sports, except for the 2 doors? If that is the case then we can throw the door argument out the window and should be comparing the ST to the Sports.

            Off topic, the Opel website is pretty bad. Very hard to find specs and I have no idea where to look for prices.

          • $29896495

            Seriously, you are kidding about the website aren’t you? You choose your car, then get access to all those items. How hard is that?

  • Zahmad

    How can they bring this in cheaper than others? Where is it built?

    • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

      it is built in Germany Suprisingly.

      It is cheaper due to VW asking for the badge and the other vehicles offering more in terms of driving pureness. i.e. RS Megane has Brembos different suspension to its std cousin etc WRX is AWD and this list goes on.

      this is a car more for the everyday person not the hardcore person.

      • Barry on the tray top .

        Read car magazine test between the two , very close, but VW just go that bit further with quality build and fittings , interior is no contest ,cheap starwars dash lets the focus down .

        Focus is a good car , but that turning circle might be a killer . 

        • Popper

          Maybe, but for VW:

          (probability of a problem) x (cost to fix) = a big number

          So VW is no go, no matter how nice when brand new.

        • Zaccy16

          yeah vws interior is less fussy and better quality

      • Robin_Graves

        VeeDud have to charge extra to cover all the warranty work they will inevitably have to perform.  Anyone who buys a Golf over this is an ignorant badge-snob.

        • Mike

          Or possibly the VW buyers just might possess a working pair of eyes. I’d like to buy a Focus if it didn’t look just so awful inside and out.

          • Robin_Graves

            I dont mind the looks at all except for the tail lights, too complicated.  I do think the Golf is way too boring and looks like it’s 10 years old already.  The interior is too Teutonic and clinical and the flanny pattern on the seats should stay on a flanny. 

          • Mike

            The Golf’s design is brilliant – it’s like a well-tailored suit, it never goes out of fashion. That’s a big factor in its strong resale value (I don’t suppose you are going to argue that its resale value is due to mechanical superiority).

            The Focus in comparison is the latest look-at-me gimmick that will start wearing on your eyes come next season. Ford design in general is hit and miss at best.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Correct mike , those of us from northern europe appreciate the strong teutonic looks , and the tartan has a long history of fierce tribal culture , no wishy washy latte looks for the golf .

          • Dave W

            The tartan might’ve been fierce before but now the only ones wearing them are the ladies. LOL

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Repeat that in a bar in scotland Dave W .

          • Dave W

            Sure, right after you go to a bar somewhere in Campbellfield Vic and Elizabeth SA and repeat all you said about the Falcon and Commodore. If you survive, I promise I’ll go to Scotland. :)

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Dave W , funny a bar in cambellfield , whats a crummerdore .

          • $29896495

            Never a truer word written Mike. Some times Ford lead the pack for design, then others they seem to be following a long way behind. They don’t seem to have a handle on the market at all.

        • Barry on the tray top .

          Better than a taxi/bogan badged falcoon , cant find one in my street , they have all seen the light , 5000 more VW on the sreets last month , all will explode of course , must be a big crystal ball you have there .

          • $29896495

            I haven’t gotten involved in this VW thing but, I’ve spoken to people who have had troubles, and it’s been horrendously expensive to fix them. Another indicator, is the number for sale with problems. Usually gearbox. or driveline of some sort. Admittedly these are cars over 100k, but once upon a time you never would have heard of this from a VW of any sort.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Well if you dont own one , dont get involved , my cousins aunty knows a guy who works in a back yard repair shop and he hates VW , problem is he is not trained to service them , he should stick to boggo falcoons .

            So much heresay and myths from the grave robber , i have had 3, no problems , 4 business owners i know , no problems , just big smiles .

            Just like the honda’s and subaru’s i have owned trouble free .

          • $29896495

            Hey barry that was a bit uncalled for, the relevance of my associations are just as good as yours, if not better. They actually lived with the things. In regards to what longevity of the cars, the evidence is on the net in the car sales sites. People who get lease cars won’t be keeping them for long enough period in most cases to get any real problems. They are usually back on the market by 50K, to soon for real wear and tear.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Yes all trolls rolling out tales of woe , we can all join any forum and create stories , thats easy , does anyone check to see that you own a crummer .

          • $29896495

            huh what? that was pathetic and meaningless barry

          • Dom

            Barry/Legnab…any reason you’ve owned 4 Golfs in 10years? Smart move getting rid of them before the warranty runs out!!!

      • Dave W

        Not that surprising if you consider that perhaps cars have always been overpriced in Australia. Then it simply means that the price has gone down closer to the real value. It’s about bloody time too.

  • Frostie

    Can’t decide, this or XR6T.

    • Monk

      Go the XR6T unless you do lots of city kms (fuel economy in stop start is not its best feature).  It’s brilliant!

      • Barry on the tray top .

        Yawn .

        • Jober As A Sudge

          Nice constructive criticism there!

        • Robin_Graves

          Yawn, because your VeeDud is broken again so you cant get blown away by another XR6T, or an AU on LPG.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Dobin falcoon too fat for the corners, okay in a straight line , xr is just a tarted AU .

          • Monk

            I’ll assume you are speaking in English.  In reply, I will merely submit that it is who is the tart.

          • Fairlane

            Barry on the tray top = Legnab with a name change

    • Sam

       I cant decide between a lemon or an orange either.  They are just so similar ;)  Go the Falcon.  It will be a relic soon.  I reckon a new xr6 turbo would be a great car to live with and keep for ages.  The depreciation is a killer, but keep it for 10 years and it will have seemed like a bargain. In 20 years time people will be talking fondly about the last great Faclons.  Who knows, they might  be sought after classics one day.

      • Zaccy16

        yeah, i like the g6e turbo, luxury express!

        • A_A

          What kind of economy do these (G6E Turbo) get on the freeway out of curiosity?

      • Monk

        Agreed.  Knock Ford all you want for their various sins - but give the I6 turbo in the XR6T or G6ET a drive and it just puts a huge smile on your face.  With dealers struggling to sell Falcons, they will put you on their Christmas card list if you walk in and ask for one.  If you can’t bargain at least $5K off, you’re not trying. If you don’t love the car, you need to take your meds.

        • Chris_tidmarsh

          Agreed…although it’s not fashionable now to say so, but the G6ET is a cracking drive, with so much giddy up, it does put a smile on the face too

          • Zaccy16

            Yeah it’s the best bargain the g6e turbo, the engine is a gem, in the highway fuel consumption is not too bad because it is very high geared, interior isn’t German quality but for the price it is good and very comfortable,

      • Robin_Graves

        If you want a lemon, buy a Volkswagen.

        • horsie

          OK we get it . just shut up

      • Daniel D

        FG’s are unquestionably the best Falcon ever made. If you can live with their size a Falcon Turbo will be a much better long termer than the Focus ST.

        • Tom

          Much better suited to Australia as well.

    • Tom

      XR6T anyday mate, support Australian built cars.

    • Jonty777

      I have a 2009 xr6t and it is a great car that has given me no problems over 3 1/2 years of ownership. That being said it is large so is more suited to country rather than metro. Really depends on what environment you drive in.

  • mikey

    Nice car, but the nose… :(

  • $29896495

    I love the nose on this thing but that’s about it. 4 doors kill it for me and I’m starting to think that the others have  better dash boards. The previous car was arguably better looking and a lot of other testers have said a better handling car.  Looking at prices for me – at this point – I would take an OPC, followed by a Renault, Golf GTI THREE DOOR!. Then a toss up between the rest.

    Interestingly, when scanning  spy photos  the other night, I stumbled across the new Cruise for 2014, the headlights look the same but the rest of the car looks much cleaner, and the COUPE version is quite nice, but  a bit backward by comparison to it’s own cousin and the rest. the reason I mention it, one of the articles mentioned the COUPE could get a big capacity turbo 4, probably the one from the Astra.

    I do prefer Fords but thought I’d pass that on.

    • jekyl & hyde

      where were these spy pictures?…

      • $29896495

        They might block the message with the address, but it’s in the Road & Track web site

  • JooberJCW

    Nothing really appealing here against its competitors, i’ll eagerly await for news on any future RS model to come out.

  • Blair Waldorf

    I dont know why everyone has a cry when sporty cars arent available in their favourite slush box auto. These cars are supposed to be fun.

    I also really can’t hack how ugly that bodykit is

    • Barry on the tray top .

      Agreed cant people drive a manual any more , probably too busy sucking on a latte , texting or looking around to see whose looking at my lime green crummerdore SS .

      • Legnab

        One rule about trying to be funny is you have to be funny, I think you just put words together and hope for the best

        • Barry on the tray top .

          GEE THE FAKE LEGNAB TRYING TO BE ME , what a pathetic waste of space , back in your dino crummerdore , be gone you child .

          • barry the tow truck driver

            What is pathetic is you stealing my name when you dont even drive a tow truck.You sell pots+pans.

          • Barry on the tray top .

            Plumbing mate , all over the hills , iam on the tray top , yours is the old tow truck .

          • Rooster

            Sure you are a plumber, what’s the name of the business you work for

  • Choff

    Interesting how they call this a ‘world car’ yet the Americans make their own and get the Ford SYNC 2, with bigger screen and better intergration. Seems like it’s not such a ‘world car’ after all.

    Also, great comment from Popper on VW being unreliable, yet the press seem to ignore it. 

    They went too crazy with the styling on this. Previous model with a chip and aftermarket cruise sounds like a better idea at the moment. But personally, I’m waiting for the Fiesta ST – should be a cracker.

  • Brad

    Really want to like this car, but I just don’t like the styling!  Maybe they look ‘better in person’.

    • Monk

      Agreed.  I loved the look of the previous XR5.  I want to like this one – maybe it will grow on you after a while – or turn you blind.

    • Simon

      Yeah agreed – the old XR5 was agressive and had sharper lines – the front nose of this car is so subdued..  Love the mags though and the interior looks good.  Good to see there are more hot hatches coming on the market

  • Adam D

    Think I’ll stick with my LV XR5… for a while

  • Smarty

    The megane is still streets ahead in terms of driving purity and performance but the ST is clearly the more practical of the two. 

    Im still young and single though, so give me the meg  

  • Waggaclint

    Im sure it would be great drive but for me im still not a fan of the grill, the normal focus grill looks better IMO, and if the ST had Dark coloured wheels like the MPS it would look alot better (hopefully its an option like in the UK)…

  • Pacman

    This ST makes the VeeDud look pretty stupid… end of story!!!

  • Petar

    ugly

  • TomW

    Are people seriously complaining about the turning circle on a car like this?

  • MCDC

    What’s with the oversize panel gap between bonnet and front bumper? Looks like the bonnet hasn’t been closed properly. Is there any explanation for it?

  • Wile E Coyote

     If you are after the best drive would it be this, Megane or 86?

    Me, probably the Megane but Toyota lovers would think the Megane not sporty enough

    • Golfmother

      Megane, your right , one great looking hot hatch , just looks the business and is a very good drive , 86 , looks cheap and nasty , so it can drift on skinny tyres , no grunt .

      • $29896495

        What a lot of people don’t get is that, Megan, OPC Astra etc, are the modern sports car. I love  a coupe, but a modern coupe, not something that is trying to do the job and only half succeeds ala 86. It reminds me of the Sprinter I bought in the mid eighties. Looked great, handled well, but here in Australia NO puff. 

        So come to think of it, I guess it is a modern iteration of that car. Though that Sprinter was practical too.

      • F1orce

        86 looks cheap and nasty?

        The demand for the 86/FR-S is through the roof.

        The 86 is a superior car to any of the so called ‘hot hatches’

        All the hatches have forced induction, where as the 86 does a damn good job without any FI.

        • Golfmother

          Get over it , its a dumb toyota pretend hot hatch without a hatch , no turbo , no life .

          • F1orce

            Hmmm very funny. The 86 has no intentions what so ever to be a ‘hot hatch’ as hot hatches are the most stupid products, they’re just fwd, ugly and regular cars. I see more Veedud GTIs then Camry’s at the local auction group.

            The 86 is pure and successful.

            A turbocharger is rather a peripheral and hot hatches have shoddy forced induction jobs. Like adding FI rather than designed from the ground up.

          • Golfmother

            The article is about the focus ST , it has 4 doors and a hatch its competiors are golf, megane , opel , not a cramped shoe box with no grunt on skinny tyres .

            Not on the ST comparison shopping list .

  • Anon

    I own the older MK2 ST and stock it understeers atrociously, torque steer also noticeable. Now one can’t compare the old with the new as they’re probably massive differences apart, although they’re both still FWD cars, which will mean some similarities remain with regards to understeer and torque steer. Best way to counter torque steer is by lowering the front suspension, and I’m fitting Eibach Pro-Kit springs shortly. As to the understeer, inflating front typre pressures 0.5 bar or more compared to the rears does help, plus fitting a stiffer rear anti-roll bar. Then Powerflex polyurethane bushings at the rear and negative camber settings at the front. But for a new car one shouldn’t have to be getting too stuck in to fix issues, and of course there is warranty involved so you’re not allowed to tamper! The new MK3 ST has awfully peculiar looks, and I’d certainly opt for the Megane RS CUP version for sheer performance nad handling. Howwver, if one is commuting each day and fuel consumption is a deciding factor, the ST wins hands-down.

  • Jimmy

    Not a huge fan of the USB exhaust and cheap looking dash, it will date particularly badly. Otherwise, nice car! 

  • Sound Symposer?

    Does anyone know whether it is possible to switch off that Sound Symposer? It takes gimmickry to a whole new level! For a century, car makers have worked on ways to keep ambient noise quiter – here is Ford funnelling it back into the cabin. Hmm. OK.

    Anyway, it may not appeal to everyone, so does anyone know the answer?

    • $29896495

      two possible ways, fill it full of automotive spray insulation, and or put a plate over the end.

  • Peteevans22

    I just bought an ST because I had no engagement with the Golf GTI, the best front drive hatch on the market (Megane RS) only comes in manual, I agree with the Corolla comment, it’s about the driving experience and you can’t get that with an auto trans, just like the R35 GTR all the reviews say its fast but also that its like driving a robot.

Ford Focus Specs

AMBIENTE : 1.6L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 5 SP MANUAL - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
FORD
Model
FOCUS
Variant
AMBIENTE
Series
LW MK2
Year
2012
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
159Nm @  4000rpm
Max. Power
92kW @  6300rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
68.7W/kg
Bore & Stroke
79x81.4mm
Compression Ratio
11.0
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP MANUAL
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
55
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1339
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1484mm
Length
4534mm
Width
1823mm
Ground Clearance
100mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11
Front Rim Size
6.5x16
Rear Rim Size
6.5x16
Front Tyres
205/55 R16
Rear Tyres
205/55 R16
Wheel Base
2648
Front Track
1559
Rear Track
1549
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hill Holder, Traction Control System
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Power Steering, Trip Computer, Voice Recognition System
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
10-Q-13
Country of Origin
GERMANY